In at the Outset – Society for One-Place Studies, Soldiers’ Wills and other matters

Hurrah! After all the hints of the past few months I can confirm that the Society for One-Place Studies is born. I seem to have ended up as Vice Chairman. Do look, do join if you too are researching the history of a place. This is going to be a good way to exchange ideas and encourage each other. Yes, this does mean that I have been instrumental in the launching of two societies in a month – so much for a quiet life.

The Buckland Brewer History Group website is developing nicely and we have had a great deal of interest from near and far.

Spent some time this week searching for the Braund Society journal, which had in theory been delivered to an outbuilding near me. Outbuildings duly searched and no sign. Eventually the parcel was tracked down. The relief delivery driver used his sat nav (always a bad idea if you are trying to find my house) and then dumped the parcel in the nearest shed, which just happened to be that of a neighbour who was on holiday. The regular driver, refreshed from his break, after consultations with his colleague and identifying sheds on Google Earth, retrieved it.

Had a new one in the seventeenth century this week. I had enlisted a willing (well probably not so willing) victim volunteer, to pose as a cavalry officer. I was about to place a Monmouth cap (knitted beany hat affair) on his head, which was somewhat follicly challenged, when he tells me he is allergic to wool! So straight to the helmet then – one has to suffer for one’s art – or at least he did.

Some TV ties ins now. Disappointed to find that Celebrity Masterchef’s ‘Wars of the Roses’ menu included orange carrots. Thanks to Martha for picking that one up – to say nothing of the not very historic plastic stock pots. Impressed though by Nick Hewer’s apparent fluency in reading seventeenth century documents during his episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Was there really a nicely transcribed copy nearby? I rather think there may have been.

Finally I must mention the heavily hyped Soldiers’ Wills site. Great resource but the site leaves a lot to be desired. They need to include a proper explanation of the class of records. It also needs the facility to search a range of dates, currently it is one year at a time. The full date span on the advanced search is 1850-1986. It seems the only dates in use at present are 1914-1921 but if it tells you that, it isn’t anywhere very prominent. Just glad I didn’t search 1850-1986 a year at a time for all the Braunds! This is really only set up for an individual family historian looking for a single will at present. What about us One Place Studiers? I’d also like to have been able to tell them all this but my and several others’, feedback emails bounced! Second attempt at feeding back was more successful and the wills arrived on my computer within two days – shame one was mis-indexed though.

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2 comments on “In at the Outset – Society for One-Place Studies, Soldiers’ Wills and other matters

  1. Klaas Peters says:

    Have you contacted Tamura Jones yet?
    Rumour is he’s doing a one-place study of Leiden, the Pilgrim town!
    Having a leading genealogist attached to your organisation might really help 🙂

    • Thank you very much for the suggestion. We will endeavour to make contact. We are fortunate that we already have several people who are prominent in the family history/local history world amongst our members. Of course more are always welcome.

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